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21 May 2008, 04:53 pm
Olympic Contribution Helping The Youth Worlds Go Green
The pristine Bay of Århus
The pristine Bay of Århus

Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship 2008
Aarhus, Denmark

Blue is normally the predominant colour when it comes to sailing, but the colour green plays an important role this July when the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship begins in Århus, Denmark.
This year's edition of the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship has a strong focus on sustainable environmental practices, for which the organizing committee has now received funding from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to carry out.

When the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship sets off on the Bay of Århus this summer, the porpoises will be scampering about below the many boats. This scenario should hopefully be seen for many years to come. Sailing Aarhus, the organizers of 2008 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship has launched a number of initiatives meant not only to keep the Bay of Århus clean, but also to make the 400 plus sailors and team leaders from 60 different nations, volunteers and guests aware of how important it is to protect the environment and not least the water.

ISAF President Göran PETERSSON, who will open this year's championship in Denmark, is impressed by the event's green credentials. "It's fantastic to see organizing committees take up the challenge of making events as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible. The Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship is a great showcase for the world's most talented young sailors, and it's also a terrific opportunity to demonstrate to them the simple steps that everyone involved in sailing can take to enhance the already impressive environmental credentials of our sport," the President said.

Sailing Aarhus has already been given 55,000 DKK from the "environmental pool" of the Danish Yachting Association and has recently also received 20,000 USD from the IOC, and their special Sport and Environment programme. Event manager, Tiny MAERSCHALK states that the funding will be used for information and specific purchases, in order to implement the green profile in the best possible way. Sailing Aarhus is connected with Birte BUHL, who works as an environmental guide in Århus. She will function as a sparring partner for the organizing committee, and provide advice and knowledge on how to keep the bay as well as its surroundings clean and using as little of the natural water recourses as possible during the event.

"We will make an effort to explain to the participants, that no waste is to be thrown on the water or on land during the event and also to make them aware that the tap water in Århus is of such good quality that they can easily drink it," MAERSHALK explains. "All participants will receive a water bottle which can be filled with tap water again and again, instead of handing out thousands of bottles with bought water. It is both cheaper and much better for the environment," she argues. "It also makes a strong statement that we in Denmark have clean drinking water and in order to continue to have this, we need to take care of the environment and the water recourses."

"Besides the water preserving initiatives, we also plan to use acoustic starting signals instead of the classic starter's pistols, which actually pollute the environment quite a bit. Sailing is crystal clear green sport,"
MAERSHALK continues. "It is also a great opportunity to increase the awareness about protecting the environment among the spectators and guests at the event. It will mean that we will have clean water, not just for the 2008 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship, but for future international yachting events on the Bay of Århus."

Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship 2008 - click here
ISAF Youth Worlds microsite - www.sailing.org/youthworlds

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